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Denver Diner police officer Kevin Devine responds to firing

1:30 PM, Oct 8, 2013   |    comments
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DENVER - Two Denver officers involved in the 2009 Denver Diner case were fired, per a ruling by the Denver District Court in late September. But one officer has responded in a letter about the decision.

Kevin Devine was originally suspended for "inappropriate force" and fired in 2012 for lying or "commission of deceptive act." But he got his job back on appeal.

After the court decided to fire the officer again, Devine fired back in an open letter to Denver Police Chief Robert White on Sept. 27.

"As of this date, I am affecting my vested retirement from the Denver Police Department. I cannot in good conscious continue to work for a Department that allows its senior chain of command to be so vindictive and self-center [sic] as to use its officers as a political stepping-stone for advancement.

I find Deputy Chief Quinnoes's [sic] actions on this matter most disgraceful. How he was able to determine facts that others did not still amazes me.

In 28 years in uniform, both military and 18 yrs. in Law Enforcement I have never had a discipline issue in my jacket. As of this date I will, as I have been for the past 7 yrs., be an honorably retired Detective with the NYPD's Emergency Service Unit. I will not longer have to bear the shame of telling people I am a Denver Police Office.

I wish you the best of luck trying to repair the damage that people like David Quinnoes have done to your department."

In 2009, according to court documents officer Nixon was working off duty in uniform and arrived at the Denver Diner off Colfax Avenue and Speer Boulevard to investigate an assault between two women. Nixon called the incident in, officer Devine responded. What happened outside the diner was captured by one of several police-run HALO cameras. The video shows a physical "confrontation" between the officers and a number of women, as the court documents describe the events.

According to court documents both officers "exaggerated or intentionally misled investigators about the need to use [pepper] spray."

The documents state that Nixon told investigators he feared being attacked. The court found the "crowd was not advancing on the officers."

On Thursday, the court upheld the initial decision to fire the officers. They can appeal.

"The court made a critical - and correct - decision today. This ruling supports our hard work to make our police department more accountable to the people it serves. I am proud of our city attorneys and those in the manager of safety's office who persisted in their pursuit of justice in this case," Amber Miller, press secretary with the City and County of Denver, said Friday morning.

The Police Department told 9NEWS it supported the Manager of Safety and the Court's decision.

"The officers firing absolutely should not have been reinstated," Nick Rogers, President of the Police Protective Association or the police union, said. "I represented the officers in their discipline review board hearing. The discipline review board said that no discipline was warranted in this case. This case is based more on politics than fact. The facts of this case do not warrant termination."

Earl Peterson, executive director of the Denver Civil Service Commission, said the commission respected the court ruling.

"Commissioners made a ruling based on what they felt was appropriate," Peterson told 9NEWS.

The commission is comprise of five citizens who are appointed by the mayor and the city council.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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